History of the Petroleum Industry/Early uses of petroleum

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Petroleum in an unrefined state has been utilized by Homo sapiens for over 5000 years. Ancient Persian tablets indicate the medicinal and lighting uses of petroleum in the upper echelons of their society. Ancient Chinese were also known to burn skimmed oil for light.

The Early 19th Century ushered in petroleum's usefulness as a medicine and lubricant. But, it first successful uses proved to be lighting and heating.